There is increasing resistance to carbapenems among Klebsiella pneumoniae,and fluoroquinolones (FQ) are increasingly used to treat infections from extended-spectrum β- lactamase(ESBLs) and carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. However, the acquisition of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) or the spontaneous mutation of the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDR) of the gyrA and parC genes can severely affect the therapeutic effect of quinolones. The goal of this study was to investigate the molecular determinants of FQ resistance(FQ-R) in carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) isolates from Heilongjiang Province,China.
We isolated 40 strains of CRKP from a treatment center in the eastern part of Heilongjiang Province from January 2016 to December 2018. The VITEK2 Compact analyzer was used to identify and detect drug sensitivity. Different types of drug resistance genes were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR and DNA sequencing were used to assess the presence of qnrA, qnrB, qnrS,qepA and acc(6′) Ib-cr genes,which are plasmid-encode genes that can contribute to resistance. The sequences of gyrA and parC genes were sequenced and compared with the sequences of standard strains to determine if mutations were present.Multi-site sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed on the strains to assess homology.
The isolated CRKP strains showed rates of resistance to fluoroquinolones of 22.5% to 42.5%. The resistance rate of ciprofloxacin was significantly higher than that of levofloxacin.Nine CRKP strains (22.5%) showed co-resistance to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.The quinolone resistant strains were screened for plasmid-encoded genes that can contribute to resistance (PMQR genes).Among the 17 quinolone resistant strains,one strain contained no PMQR genes,twelve strains contained two PMQR genes,and four strains contained four PMQR genes.Acc (6′) Ib-cr was the most frequently detected PMQR gene, detected in 95% of strains tested (38 of 40) and in 94.1% of the quinolone-resistant strains (16 of 17). The qepA gene encoding an efflux pump was not detected in any strains.No isolate carried five different PMQRs simultaneously.Changes of S83I and D87G changes in gyrA, and the S80I change in parC,which were mediated by QRDR,were identified in two isolates,which showed resistance to both ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.Most of the FQ-R strains(58.8%,10/17) belong to ST(sequence type) 76, which is dominant in the local area, while all the mutant strains (100%,2/2),that differ in at least one site from standard bacteria, belong to the ST11 group. The strains were isolated from a hospital where there had been a recent outbreak of ST76 type CRKP in the neurosurgery ward and intensive care unit.
CRKP strains were identified that were insensitive or even resistant to quinolones,and this resistance is common in Heilongjiang Province of eastern China;fluoroquinolone-resistance in these clinical CRKP strains is a complex interplay between PMQR determinants and mutations in gyrA and parC.The resistance level caused by QRDR mutation is higher than that caused by PMQR, however, the high frequency of PMQR genes in the isolated CRKP strains suggests the potential for impact of these genes.PMQR determinants are often found in carbapenemase-producing or ESBLs-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae,and some resistance genes,such as:SHV,TEM, CTX-M-15,and OXA-1 are closely associated with FQ-R. Finally, geographical factors can affect the emergence and spread of PMQR and QRDR.Some genetic lineages have higher potential risks, and continuous close monitoring is required.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.